Student/Parent Handbook

Table of Contents

Mission Statement

Charter Authorization

Educational Philosophy

Student Learning Outcomes

Track C School Calendar

Identifiable Terms

Contact Information

Parent Support

Enrollment

Enrollment Requirements

Grade Level Assignment (by age of student)

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Policy

Kindergarten Policy

High School Grade Level Placement Policy

Promotion, Retention and Acceleration

Student with an Expulsion History

Special Education Students

Adult Enrollment Policy

Dual Enrollment Policy – Public and Private Schools

Master Agreement

Academics

Excel Academy Curriculum Policies

Curriculum and Education Resources

Curriculum Ideas/Options

California State & Grade Level Standards

PE Requirements

Special Education

Fieldtrips

A-G Requirements

WASC Accreditation

Vendor Policies

Vendor List Located on Website

Family Service Agreement

Instructional Funds

Criteria for Materials that can be Purchased with Instructional Funds

Cap for Electives

Returning Materials

Basic Materials Only

Cancellation Policy

Backordered Items

Ordering Deadline

Instructional Funds and Vendor Policies

High School

Pre-Requisites

How to Clear a Pre-Requisite

AP Exam and Honors Courses

Concurrent Enrollment Policy – Community College Courses

Requirements for Community College Concurrent Enrollment

Seventh and Eighth Grade Student Requirements for High School Credit

Course Change Policy

Customized Track Option

A-G Requirements and Online Courses

Graduation Requirements

Grading for High School Students/Approved 7th and 8th Grade Students

Middle School Coursework

Transfer Credits

Home School Credit Transfer

PE for the High School Student

Transcripts

Repeated Courses

Work Permits

Driver’s Education

Pink Slip/Certificate of Completion

Credits for Driver’s Education

Approval of Driving Schools

Educational Oversight

Excel Academy Policies

The Education Specialist

Initial Contact Meeting

Learning Period (LP) Meetings

Work Samples

Reflection Page/Assessment of Student Work

Attendance Log

The ES Mentor

Parent Newsletter via Mailchimp

Assessment

Report Cards

State and Local Assessment

Testing Resources

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

SAT/ACT

PSAT/NMSQT

English Learners

Criteria for Re-designating (RFEP) EL Students

School Policies, Procedures & Regulations

Academic Integrity Policy

Process for Addressing Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

Special Education Students

Internet/Computer System Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Consequence of Non Compliance

Civility Policy

Harassment and Cyberbullying

Steps for Students to Follow

Administrative Action Plan

Disciplinary Action for Students Engaging in Harassment or Cyberbullying

Substance Abuse

Homeschool Attendance, Student Support and Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

Attendance

Governing Board Policies

Additional Parent/Student Responsibilities

First Progress Improvement Notification

Second Progress Improvement Notification

Third Progress Improvement Notification

Special Education Students – PIN Policy

Suspension/Expulsion Procedures

Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary School Students Privacy and Safety

Regulations Concerning Access to Student Records & Records Sharing

Anti-Discrimination

McKinney Vento Information

Contact Information and Communication Policy

Email Accounts

Tone of Contact

Authorized Contacts

School Communication Responsibilities

Parent Advisory Committee

Mission Statement

Excel Academy is a program of a public charter school which embodies high quality teaching support and parent partnership resulting in the development of individual learning goals in a nurturing environment to ensure individual student success.

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Charter Authorization

Excel Academy is a program of a California Pacific Charter Schools (CPCS) servicing students in Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial counties and Community Collaborative Charter School (CCCS) servicing students in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.  CPCS and CCCS are public charter school authorized by Warner Unified School District and Acton-Agua Dulce School District, respectively.

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Educational Philosophy

The school seeks to attract and serve a group of students who can benefit from instruction that is more freely scheduled, flexibly paced, individually targeted, and closely monitored than can occur in a traditional “brick and mortar” classroom. Our model becomes distinguishable from other virtual or self-directed learning models in that students benefit from intensive academic support from professional educators, a feature lacking in other virtual and home school settings. Excel Academy believes that educational success depends on positive student engagement and high levels of interaction with content, instructors, and fellow learners.

That interaction occurs when learning is fun, challenging, flexibly paced, and situated in a climate where curiosity and risk-taking are rewarded. This learning climate is made possible by a curriculum that is aligned to California’s academic content standards and targeted to individual learner needs. Our curriculum is delivered through Excel Academy’s home study models that balance the unique advantages of traditional and virtual classroom approaches. The curriculum is designed to cover the full content in each core subject by the end of each academic year.  However, the flexible pacing in our approach enables the student, under the guidance of the educator, to spend more intensive time and effort in areas of need. This model allows teachers to better address each student’s unique learning and communication style, cultivate independent thought, and offer alternative or supplemental learning options that prepare students for the real-life complexities of higher education or the job market in the 21st century.

Our multitude of curriculum options are delivered through a wide variety of material and service vendors.  The Education Specialist and parents choose curriculum aligned to California’s academic content standards and targeted to individual learner needs.  The flexible pacing in our approach enables the student, under the guidance of the education specialist, to spend more intensive time and effort in areas of need.  Curriculum is designed to cover the full content in each core subject and paced for completion by the end of each academic year.

Excel Academy will position its students for success by enabling students to learn any time, any place, and by deploying flexible learning, teaching, curricular, and staffing models that adapt to the uniqueness inherent in every student and learning situation. It will empower them to take ownership of their education and develop not only knowledge, skills, and abilities, but also the confidence, creativity, and resourcefulness to deploy them adaptively in response to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

All policies within this handbook apply to the Excel Academy program, which falls under the California Pacific Charter Schools and Community Collaborative Charter Schools.

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Student Learning Outcomes

SLO’s stands for Student Learning Outcomes. They are statements about what all students should know, understand, and be able to do by the time they graduate. To meet the demands of the 21st century, Excel Academy graduates will be: Creative and Complex Thinkers

  1. Students will propose, evaluate, and use a variety of strategies, tools, and skills to produce solutions.
  2. Students demonstrate the ability to recognize and analyze problems from multiple perspectives, including real-world situations.
  3. Students exhibit intellectual courage by advocating for their own learning, seeking help when needed, and persevering when challenged.

Effective Communicators

  1. Students are able to actively engage in a variety of topics through polite and respectful conversation.
  2. Students exhibit articulate, effective, and persuasive communication orally, visually, and in writing to a diverse range of audiences using a variety of methods.
  3. Students will engage in cooperative relationships with teachers and peers.
  4. Students use technology in various forms to effectively communicate and demonstrate knowledge.

Community/Global Participants

  1. Students show respect for self and others and celebrate cultural diversity.
  2. Students will make positive contributions to their community (e.g. register to vote, care for environment, volunteer).
  3. Students are prepared to meet the demands of college or career; demonstrating various skills in seeking employment and/or college admission.

Empowered and Independent Learners

  1. Students are self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and demonstrate self-corrective thinking.
  2. Students are curious, inquisitive thinkers, and dedicated to life-long learning.
  3. Students plan and study effectively and efficiently using time management skills.
  4. Students actively participate in the creation and pursuit of personal, academic, and professional goals.

A downloadable pdf version of Excel Academy’s SLO’s can be found through this link.

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Track C School Calendar

16-17-track-c-calendar-revised-board-approved-050515 To view a copy of this calendar on our website, please visit this link

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Identifiable Terms

Education Specialist (ES) – The ES is a single or multiple subject credential-holding teacher who works with his or her assigned family to identify and implement a personalized learning plan for the student.

Instructional Funds (IFs) – State funds allotted to each student, with which families can request the purchase of approved educational materials and services through Excel Academy’s Vendor Department.

Learning Period (LP) – The intervening days between each LP Meeting, ranging from 13 – (20) school days.

Learning Period Meeting (LPM) – The time during which the parent(s) and their student(s) will meet with their assigned ES to turn in and review work samples from the previous LP.

Master Agreement (MA) – An agreement between the parent, school, and ES that the parent will abide by the rules laid out in the Parent Student Handbook. Signed prior to the release of Instructional Funds.

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Contact Information

Our office is located at:

1200 Quail Street, Suite 175
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949-387-7822 Reception/Parent Support
949-387-7410 Vendor Department/Registrar

Once enrolled, you will be provided with the contact information of your Education Specialist. If you are attempting to reach a member of our administrative staff, please call the Reception/Parent Support line and ask for the person you wish to speak with. Someone will be happy to connect you.

If you wish to reach a specific department by email, please use one of the following:
parentsupport@excelacademy.education – Parent Support
vendors@excelacademy.education – Vendor Department
registrar@excelacademy.education – Office of the Registrar
enrollment@excelacademy.education – Enrollment Department

 

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Parent Support

Parent support is available Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. – 4 P.M.   Parent support can be contacted on the main office line at any time prior to or during enrollment in order to receive general information about the program, the enrollment process, or the status of a student application. Parent support can also be contacted throughout the school year to retrieve contact information for any department or staff member within Excel Academy.  Please feel free to contact parent support by either emailing parentsupport@excelacademy.education or by calling the main office at (949) 387-7822.

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Enrollment

Enrollment Requirements

  • Proof of Residency
  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization Records
  • Transcripts (High School only)
  • Oral Health Report Form or waiver (TK,K and 1st Grade only)
  • Health Exam Form/Waiver (TK,K and 1st Grade only)

Students may apply for admission at any time during the academic year.

However, if students who seek admission at Excel Academy within the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District apply when the charter school is at capacity, the application will be held until one of the three primary enrollment periods in July, September and November.  If the number of applicants exceeds the number of slots available in a particular enrollment period, a public random drawing will be held to determine which applicants are admitted and which are placed on ordered, numbered waiting lists.

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Grade Level Assignment (by age of student)

At Excel Academy, students are enrolled in the grade that most closely corresponds to their age, in accordance with California State Law.

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Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Policy

Students must turn 5 between September 2-December 2. Kindergarten age-eligible students are allowed to choose TK if their 5th birthday is between June 1st-September 1st; however, they must sign the Kindergarten Continuance Form verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one additional year. Students may not promote from TK to 1st grade.

For students with their 5th birthday after December 2, they must enter TK on or after their 5th birthday. They must sign the Kinder Continuance Form.  If a student turns 5 after December 2nd, entering kindergarten is not an option, they must enroll in TK.

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Kindergarten Policy

Students must turn 5 on or before September 1.

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High School Grade Level Placement Policy

High school students are assigned a grade level based on the year of entry into 9th grade. Regardless of credit deficiency, students will be promoted to the next grade and given an opportunity to remediate credits in hopes that the student will graduate with his or her cohort.

In the event that a student does not graduate with their cohort, Excel Academy will provide the student with an opportunity to continue their education, provided they are making adequate progress towards a diploma, per Ed Code.

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Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration

Students at Excel Academy will be promoted to the next grade level each year.  In order to repeat a grade, it must be agreed upon in writing, by both the parent and school administration.  Students will only repeat a grade in the case that there is substantial evidence that the student lacks academic readiness in the areas of math, reading, and language arts.  Students may not be held back more than once.

Students who wish to accelerate must follow the SST process with a student study team.  Students may graduate early only if they have met all of the criteria for graduation, including credit requirements. For more information on graduation requirements, see the section on High School.

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Student with an Expulsion History

Students who wish to apply that have been previously expelled from another school must submit a copy of any expulsion reports from that school and any related documentation with your student enrollment application for review.

For students who seek admission at Excel Academy within the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District, the decision to admit a previously expelled pupil from another school district or charter school shall be in the sole discretion of the Administrative Panel (which shall consist of at least three members who are certificated and neither a teacher of the pupil or a Board member of Community Collaborative Charter School’s governing board).  This decision will follow a meeting with the Principal or designee and the pupil and guardian or representative to determine whether the pupil has successfully completed a rehabilitation plan and to determine whether the pupil poses a threat to others or will be disruptive to the school environment.  The Principal or designee shall make a recommendation to the Administrative Panel following the meeting regarding his or her determination. 

For students who seek admission at Excel Academy within the Warner Unified School District, the decision to admit a previously expelled pupil from another school district or charter school shall be in the sole discretion of the governing board following a meeting with the Executive Director and the pupil and guardian or representative, to determine whether the pupil has successfully completed a rehabilitation plan and to determine whether the pupil poses a threat to others or will be disruptive to the school environment.  The Executive Director shall make a recommendation to the governing board following the meeting regarding his or her determination. [WARNER CHARTER P. 39 (Readmission)]

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Special Education Students

After enrollment in Excel Academy, the Special Education Department will request and review documentation from parents/guardians, in the form of either an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or a 504 plan, or related special documentation. In addition, Excel Academy will comply with all relevant obligations under the law, including taking reasonable steps to promptly obtain relevant pupil records from the previous school in which the pupil was enrolled, including records relating to providing special education and related services to the pupil.

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Adult Student Enrollment Policy

Effective July 1, 2004 California State Law prohibits the enrollment of any student age 19 years or older who has not been continuously enrolled since their 18th birthday and making regular progress towards a high school diploma.

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Dual Enrollment Policy – Public and Private Schools

In accordance with California Education Code Section 47602(b) and Title 5, California Code of Regulations Section 11965(a), no student may be enrolled in Excel Academy and simultaneously be enrolled in another public or private school. Private schools are defined as vendors who are registered with the California Department of Education (CDE) as private schools that teach core classes and charge tuition. Excel Academy reserves the right to evaluate if a program is considered a dual enrollment situation per the California Education code.

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Master Agreement

The Master Agreement is a binding agreement between Excel Academy, the student, the parent/guardian, the supervising teacher, and other responsible persons. The agreement documents assigned courses as well as the time, manner, and frequency of the student’s meetings with the faculty. Each agreement shall be signed and in effect prior to the student’s attendance reporting start dates.

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Academics

Excel Academy Curriculum Policies

All curricula are copyright-protected, but students may print pages for their own educational use.  Excel Academy reserves the right to revise, add, or delete courses.  Full notification of changes will be communicated via email, and all changes will be noted on the Excel Academy website.

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Curriculum and Education Resources

Excel Academy has an extensive vendor list and a variety of curriculum options to assist students in reaching their educational goals. The ES and families work together to complete a Course of Study for the student, identify curriculum options that will meet the student’s needs, and make sure school guidelines and state standards are met.

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Curriulum Ideas/Options

Below are some popular parent/teacher resources (Good for support in understanding homeschooling and the homeschooling mom/family):

*A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola (Light read with amazing ideas. Perfect for new homeschoolers and those with Elementary-Jr. High level students. Charlotte Mason approach.

Spelling:
All About Spelling
Soaring with Spelling

Phonics:
Rock ‘n Learn DVDs (3) – (1) Letter Sounds, (2) Phonics Vol. 1 and (3) Phonics Vol. 2
The Phonics Road
Zoo Phonics

Grammar:
William Sadlier
Growing with Grammar
Easy Grammar & Daily Grams (companion curriculum)
Ruth Heller Grammar Books

Writing:
Write Shop – Primary and Junior
IEW – Fun and Fascinating Things

Handwriting/Printing:
Handwriting without Tears
Cursive First
Copywork – Handwriting/Printing practice using a journal and poetry or famous/historical quotes

Additional Language Arts:
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write

Math:
Saxon – online assessments are available for parents to assess their children’s level prior to ordering
Math U See
Teaching Textbooks
Singapore
Right Start

Science:
Home Science Tools
Science in a Nutshell (kits)

Social Studies:
Story of the World DVD Set and Student Workbook
World Geography – Mapping the Globe
U.S. Geography – Galloping the Country

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California State & Grade Level Standards

Students in Excel Academy must show progression towards and mastery of the California State Standards in order to remain in Excel. With the help of an Education Specialist, students will be guided towards the completion of these standards. Education Specialists will assess a student’s progress at each LP meeting and at the end of every semester.

The Educational Specialist will email families a copy of the grade level standards for the grades their students are enrolled in at the start of each academic year. Additionally, parents can obtain the subject and course standards directly from the California Department of Education.

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PE-Requirements

Q: How many minutes of PE are required in the state of California?

The physical education minutes required are:

Elementary grades 1-6: minimum of 200 minutes every ten days.
Secondary grades 7-12: minimum of 400 minutes every ten days.

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Special Education

Excel Academy will comply with requirements of the individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Additionally, Excel Academy will strictly adhere to the Education Codes decreed by the California Department of Education regarding the participation of students with disabilities in independent study.  Such services shall be provided pursuant to federal and state laws, including applicable rules and regulations and Excel Academy’s policies.  The core courses comply with Section 504 standards of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Special Education Department will request and review documentation from parents/guardians and/or resident school district related to a student’s disability and will communicate responsibilities and accommodation plans to staff regarding individuals with disabilities.  In addition, Excel Academy will comply with all relevant obligations under the law, including taking reasonable steps to promptly obtain relevant pupil records, including records relating to the provision of special education and related services to the pupil from the previous school in which the pupil was enrolled. All students are required to take their state assessment exams, subject to any accommodations in accordance with the law.  Those accommodations for students requiring accommodations to take their state assessment tests will be implemented as stated in their IEP/504 Plans.  When necessary, the Special Education Department will follow established school procedures to review existing special education documentation (e.g., accommodation plans, goals) and may attend IEP, 504, or student support plan meetings to develop new plans.   School staff and parents/guardians will be provided all rights as entitled by law, including an opportunity to give input and/or attend student conferences.

For more information, please refer to the Special Education Reference guide found on the Excel Academy website.

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Fieldtrips

Excel Academy offers field trip opportunities to currently enrolled students and their families. They are not required, and Excel Academy does not provide transportation to and from these events. California Education Code Section 35330(d) provides that all persons participating in an excursion shall be deemed to have waived all claims against Excel Academy for injury, illness or death occurring during/by reason of an excursion.

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A-G Requirements

For information on a-g requirements, please see the High School section of this handbook.

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WASC Accreditation

Excel Academy is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional associations, which accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. Accreditation certifies to other educational institutions, and to the general public, that an institution meets established criteria or standards and is achieving its own stated objectives. This means that all diploma or degree programs and educational activities offered by the institution are covered by the institution’s accreditation. This is important because California State Universities and Colleges require incoming students to have participated in a WASC approved school/program. Additionally, California residents who wish to join the military oftentimes must have attended an accredited high school program.

To remain accredited, a school must report annually on the progress of its submitted improvement plan as well as its ability to continue to meet accreditation standards.  Once every five years, the schools will need to re-engage in a thorough self-study process and host a visiting accreditation team.

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Vendor Policies

Vendor List Located on Website

Excel’s website has a link to our vendor search tool.  Please make sure your families are aware of this search tool.  The search tool allows families to find vendors in their area.  This list is updated frequently as vendors are added throughout the school year.  You may find this link at  https://www.excelacademy.education/vendors/.

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Family Service Agreement

A signed copy of the Family Service Agreement must be on file before the ES can begin placing purchase orders for services. The ES must go over the Family Service Agreement carefully with each parent before signing. The parent must understand their role in requesting service purchase orders correctly, in orderly to properly facilitate the duties of the ES, the vendor relations department, the vendors, and the parent.

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Instructional Funds

The instructional funds are as follows:

TK – 8              $2,700
High School    $3,200

The instructional funds are disbursed in two allotments:

TK – 8              $1,350 on Aug. 1st and $1,350 in December.
High School    $1,600 on Aug. 1st and $1,600 in December.

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Criteria for Materials That Can Be Purchased with Instructional Funds

Excel Academy receives funding from the state to support student learning and progress toward the standards. Therefore, instructional funds (IFs) need to be spent on educational items that meet the criteria below. The ES will consult with the Education Coordinator for additional clarification on acceptable IF purchases.

General Criteria:

  • Educational curriculum ordered is appropriate for the student’s courses and learning plan.
  • Materials must be used to meet state and school standards for the student for whom the materials are being purchased.
  • All materials must be non-sectarian and non-denominational.
  • As a general rule, basic, economical items/models must be selected. If the student requires a higher-priced, less than basic item/model, a statement from the ES justifying the purchase may be required.
  • School & office supplies adequate for learning basic course skills (paper, pencils, etc).
  • Materials for a documented educational project: fabric, wool, yarn enough for one project (exception: no food purchases allowed.) ESs are responsible for monitoring the quantities of items purchased.
  • Educational software to instruct and enhance learning in a subject area.
  • Materials must not expose the ES or student to danger or serious injury.
  • Tracking forms & educational plans are required for certain items.
  • School sponsored field trips

Computer Ordering Policy (updated 01/06/2017):

In the event that there are multiple active Excel students living in one home, if requested, Excel Academy will allow:

  • One computer or tablet per 3 TK-6 student(s)
  • One computer or tablet for each 7-12 grade student(s)

Disallowed Items:

If a ES inadvertently orders materials from this list, the ES will collect the materials and return them to school administration.

  • Furniture, storage, organizational items (large or small items), picture frames, and other non-educational household items
  • Excessive quantities of anything
  • Computer parts or equipment for non school-owned computers
  • Costumes, uniforms, clothes or jewelry
  • Toys or items with no instructional value
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Personal PE items such as skis, bicycles, tricycles, scooter boards or itemsthat are worn by a student (gloves, mitts)would be considered personal.
  • Anything that is ordered in a size or weight for a student (bats, rackets, helmets, bikes, golf clubs, etc.)
  • Musical instrument rentals or exchanges
  • Dance recital fees or any fees that are outside of the scope of learning a new, or progressing in an already learned, physical activity (no performance fees of any kind can be paid by Excel Academy)
  • Some Home and Office Equipment: faxes, copiers, phones, dictation equipment, TV’s
  • Power tools
  • Kitchen Equipment: popcorn poppers, trays, plates, silverware and other basic kitchen supplies
  • Yard Equipment: grass watering kits, garden ponds, swimming pools
  • Anything that could expose the ES or student to injury such as knives, poisons, darts, bow and arrows, weapons, welding equipment, etc.
  • Sectarian materials (see below for detailed instructions)

Additional Guidelines for Specific Items

Please refer to the “Using Instructional Funds” .pdf on the Vendor page for a detailed list of allowed/disallowed items: http://excelacademy.education/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Using-Instructional-Funds.pdf

Sectarian Materials

School materials cannot have sectarian/religious content. The ES will ensure sectarian/religious materials are not ordered with school funds.

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Cap for Electives

There is no cap for electives as long as each student:

  1. Has appropriate curriculum in place and it has been verified by the ES.
  2. The parent is turning in quality samples each month, completing their attendance and the student is making progress each month.
  3. The parent orders a minimum of $400 (TK-8) or $500 (high school) using their instructional funds for curriculum or classes towards language arts, math, social sciences, and or science.

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Returning Materials

All non-consumable materials are property of Excel Academy and must be returned when the student withdrawal from Excel Academy.

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Basic Materials Only

Excel Academy can only purchase the type of supplies that could be found in a brick and mortar public school.  We also cannot pay for high priced/overpriced lessons, classes or materials.  Please refer to the “Using Instructional Funds” .pdf on the Vendor page for a detailed list of allowed/disallowed items: http://excelacademy.education/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Using-Instructional-Funds.pdf

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Cancellation Policy

We cannot cancel an EMR order or a VCI order after they are processed.  Once materials are requested, the Vendor department will order them and they cannot be cancelled. If an order has not been processed and is still in “Pending Status,” the ES can cancel or edit the purchase order in OPS.

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Backordered items

Backordered items are especially unfortunate.  If it is past the ordering window, the parent cannot request an alternate item.  Please complete your orders well in advance of the deadline.

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Ordering Deadline

April 14th is the deadline for the ES to submit purchase orders for families.  It is important that families submit orders requests earlier than the deadline. After the deadline, no purchase orders can be submitted. Instructional funds do not roll over from year to year.  If the instructional funds are not used by the deadline, the parent will no longer have access to them.

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Instructional Funds and Vendor Policies

Excel Academy has a list of vendors who provide an array of goods and services to enrolled families. Currently enrolled parents and ESs are able to request new vendors. Excel does not accept solicitations. All vendors must complete the vendor application process.  For service vendors who work directly with Excel students, the process includes Live Scan fingerprint background checks.  Please understand this is an important step to protect your students.  If a vendor does not wish to complete all parts of the application including the Live Scan fingerprint background check, the application cannot be approved.  Families that join Excel Academy have access to the Approved Vendor list.

Instructional Funds are dispersed at the discretion of the Education Specialist (ES) among approved vendors. Materials ordered should be basic in quality and appropriate to the student’s age, grade, and need. Instructional Funds depreciate daily depending on the day of actual enrollment and must be used in the same academic year. Excel Academy will not pay for any products or services that do not have a current agreement in place. If on a rare occasion, a vendor agreement has expired or dissolved, Excel Academy cannot pay for services or materials purchased from them. The Education Specialist will notify families who happen to order something from a vendor such as this.

An Education Material Vendor (EMR) is a business that provides curriculum, books, and school supplies. When placing material (EMR) orders, please research and choose wisely with careful consideration. Many vendors do not accept returns from a school, and funds cannot be returned to individual student accounts. If a return is allowed, shipping costs will be deducted from the student account.

Services are provided by a Vendor Course Instructor (VCI). This person(s) or facility provides academic tutoring, CORE classes, art/music lessons, physical education classes, or other supervised/guided instruction. A service order (VCI) request does not guarantee a spot in a vendor’s class. The parent must communicate directly with the vendor to ensure the vendor has open spots in a class. The VCI Cancellation Policy states that classes must be cancelled with two weeks notice given to the vendor. Unless otherwise stated by the vendor, the student’s Instructional funds will be used to pay for the month of the cancellation of classes.

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High School

Pre-Requisites

Mastery of a certain body of knowledge is necessary if students are to be successful in their courses.   Most commonly, such knowledge is measured by successful completion of the prerequisite course listed in the course description.  “Successful completion” is defined by a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P” in the prerequisite course.  Grades that are not acceptable are “F,” “I,” or “NG.”

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How to Clear a Pre-Requisite

Students enrolling in a course with a prerequisite will be required to do one of the following:

  1. Complete the required prerequisite course(s) at Excel Academy with a satisfactory grade that is a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P”
  2. Submit transcripts – provide grade transcripts from another high school, if appropriate. Such transcripts must demonstrate satisfactory completion of the prerequisite course – that is, completion of the course with a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “” Students must present transcripts to their Guidance Counselor for a transcript review as soon as possible.
  3. It is at the school’s discretion to accept or deny the request to waive the prerequisite course requirement.

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AP Exam and Honors Courses

Students may take vendors’ Honors courses through one of our online vendors. At this time, Excel nor its’ vendors offer AP courses or AP exams.  However, students may find other high schools in their surrounding area who are willing to allow them to take the AP exam at their site or another site.

The College Board established the AP program.  Advanced Placement programs provide incentives for public high schools to facilitate access to rigorous, college level courses for interested and prepared students.  Excel high school students who are not enrolled in an AP class may still elect to take the AP exam for a subject area, through their local public high school.

Parents are able to search the College Board AP website for schools that may allow students from other schools to take the AP exam on their campus.  If a student passes an AP Exam, let your ES know.   The Guidance Counselor, at the discretion of the Director, may make a note on the student’s transcript stating the student passed the exam for a particular subject.

Please visit collegeboard.org for more valuable information.

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Concurrent Enrollment Policy – Community College Courses

Middle School and High School Students must be enrolled in 4 classes at Excel Academy to qualify for concurrent enrollment at a Community College. Students will not turn in work samples and the ES will not be responsible for grading work in a course completed at a community college. Students are required to have an official transcript sent at the end of each semester to:

ATTN: Melissa O’Dell
Excel Academy

1200 Quail St., Suite 175
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Upon receipt of the official transcript from the Community College the High School transcript will be updated to reflect the courses taken and grades earned.

Each Community College designates a maximum number of units allowed per semester. It is recommended that students take a maximum of 2 classes while concurrently enrolled in Excel Academy. Students may only attend Community College part-time. Once students are enrolled in full time course-work as determined by the Community College in which the student is enrolled, they are no longer eligible for enrollment at Excel Academy.

In Addition, the parent, student and the ES must sign the Excel Academy Concurrent Enrollment Agreement. The ES will keep this agreement with the student’s records.

If you have any questions about the Community College courses or programs including transfer to the University of your choice, please consult a Community College Counselor. Be aware of all registration and deadline dates by checking your Community College’s website and/or office and adhere to all college rules and regulations.

Please see link for additional information and FAQ’s on Community Colleges as written by The CollegeBoard: https://shar.es/1hSxOT

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Requirements for Community College Concurrent Enrollment

  1. Student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for academic courses, or a 2.7 GPA for art, music, and dance, vocational, physical education courses.
  2. Student must be enrolled in at least 20 credits at Excel.
  3. Student must complete and sign the concurrent enrollment form obtained from the community college admissions office and submit it to their ES. The ES will fill out the Excel concurrent form and get the required signatures from the Excel Academy High School Guidance Counselor.

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Seventh and Eighth grade Student Requirements for High School Credit

Qualified 7th and 8th grade students may take up to two high school level courses in Math or a Foreign Language in a given semester. Please note that physical education cannot be taken for high school credit in 7th or 8th grade. Foreign Language or Math class (Algebra or Geometry) may be taken in order to meet the High School Requirement for the class and prerequisites for other courses. However, 7th and 8th grade students WILL NOT receive High School Credit which counts toward the units needed for a high school diploma. Students wanting to meet the requirement for these courses must follow the Customized Path outline or through an approved online Vendor.

Qualifications:

  1. Student scored at or above grade level on the benchmark exam in language arts for English, history, science, or qualifying scores in math for high school level math courses.
  2. 0 GPA (grade point average)
  3. ES recommendation

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Customized Track Option

Excel Academy offers a customized track option for our high school students. This program allows parents to purchase an array of educational resources and materials from approved vendors for their child using Instructional Funds provided by the charter school while simultaneously completing high school graduation requirements as well as pursue other interests or extracurricular activities. High school students and their parents should work with the ES to balance curricular needs. Using these educational resources, families have the freedom to build a customized learning experience for their children, benefiting from flexibility of choice and the partnership of a highly qualified California-credentialed teacher, otherwise known as an Education Specialist (ES).

An approved non a-g course outline must be followed for each course under the Customized Track Option.  All Courses must: Meet Common Core Content standards, follow the approved course outline, and demonstrate High School level rigor shown in a variety of grade level appropriate work samples.

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A-G Requirements and Online Course Options

To be considered for admission to the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) systems, students must complete a total of fifteen (15) year-long A-G high school courses with a grade of C or better—at least 11 of them prior to senior year.  Courses must be submitted for approval by the UC office of the President.

  1. Online course: Students, in collaboration with the ES and parent, may choose their  A-G approved courses from either of Excel’s approved vendors: Edgenuity or BYU.
  2. Community College course: Please refer to the community college’s website for information on their requirements for high school student concurrent enrollment.
BYU Independent Study Classes Edgenuity A-G Online Courses
English

English 9 A
English 9 B
English 10 A
English 10 B
English 11 A
English 11 B
English 12 A
English 12 B

English

English 9 A
English 9 B
English 9 A Honors
English 9 B Honors
English 10 A
English 10 B
English 10 A Honors
English 10 B Honors
English 11 A
English 11 B
English 11 A Honors
English 11 B Honors
English 12 A
English 12 B
English 12 A Honors
English 12 B Honors

History

World History A
World History B
US History A
US History B
Government
Economics

History

World History A
World History B
World History A Honors
World History B Honors
US History A
US History B
Government
Economics

Mathematics

Algebra 1 A
Algebra 1 B
Algebra II A
Algebra II B
Geometry A
Geometry B
Pre-Calculus A
Pre-Calculus B

Mathematics

Algebra 1 A
Algebra 1 B
Algebra II A
Algebra II B
Geometry A
Geometry B
Pre-Calculus A
Pre-Calculus B

Sciences

Biology A
Biology B
Chemistry A
Chemistry B

Sciences

Biology w/lab  A
Biology  w/lab B
Biology w/lab A Honors
Biology w/lab B Honors Chemistry w/lab A
Chemistry w/lab B
Chemistry w/lab A Honors Chemistry w/lab B Honors Physics w/lab A
Physics w/lab B
Physics w/lab A Honors Physics w/lab B Honors

Foreign Language

Spanish I A
Spanish I B
Spanish II A
Spanish II B
Spanish III A
Spanish III B
American Sign Language I A
American Sign Language I B
American Sign Language II A American Sign Language II A

Foreign Language

Spanish I A
Spanish I B
Spanish II A
Spanish II B
Spanish III A
Spanish III B
French I A
French I B
FrenchII A
French II B
French III A
French III B

Electives

Art History
Information and Communication Technology A
Information and Communication Technology B
Introduction to Business A
Introduction to Business B
Speech and Communications A
Speech and Communications B Psychology A
Psychology B
Sociology
Geography

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Graduation Requirements

Students are eligible for a diploma when all requirements have been met. Diploma requirements are as follows:

Courses for College Prep Path Credits   Courses for Non-College Prep Path Credits
Required:     Required:  
English 40 English 40
Mathematics 30 Mathematics 20
Life Science 10 Life Science 10
Physical Science 10 Physical Science 10
Visual/Performing Arts 10 Visual/Performing Arts and FL 10
World History 10 World History 10
American History 10 American History 10
American Government 5 American Government 5
Economics 5 Economics 5
Foreign Language 20 Physical Activity 20
Physical Activity 20 Electives 80
Electives 50 Total Credits 220
Total Credits 220      

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Grading for High School Students/Approved 7th and 8th grade Students

The grade given to each student will be the grade determined by the teacher of the course. The determination grade by the teacher shall be the final grade. If a student is following the Customized Instruction path, the final grade will be determined by both the ES and the parent. The ES has the authority to make the final decision in regards to grades.

Students  taking online classes or classes with a local approved vendor need to consult with the online teacher or instructor/vendor regarding questions about grades, averages, or course progress. Excel Academy uses a traditional 4.0 scale in determining Grade Point Average (GPA). Credit is granted only for courses that earn 60% out of a possible 100%.

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Middle School Coursework

Coursework completed in 7th or 8th grade can be used to satisfy Math or Foreign Language “A-G” requirements; however, credits are NOT counted towards a high school diploma.

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Transfer Credits

Transfer credits are awarded on a case-by-case basis by the registrar’s office.  Official transcripts are required in order to award credit.  Transcript analysis may require research and contact with previous institutions to determine eligibility of transfer credits.

If a student is given a percentage OR provided with a percentage grade upon exiting their previous school, Excel Academy will award the transfer grade by applying a percentage to the amount of work equivalent to what was completed at the previous school.  Students who are provided with exit grades without percentages will be awarded a transfer grade equivalent to the amount of work completed at the previous school in accordance with the following scale:

Any A: 95%
Any B: 85%
Any C: 75%
Any D: 65%
Any F: 59%

International records may require translation and/or evaluation prior to being considered for transfer credits.  Costs for translation and external evaluations are sustained by the student.

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Home School Credit Transfer

Documentation provided by families for home-school work completed through grade 8 will be accepted in order for a student to enroll in grade 9.

In order to earn high school credit toward graduation, students must supply complete records (depending on state requirements), which may include evidence of attendance, state/national test results, curricula followed, and/or portfolio of work.  A core group of school personnel (e.g., an administrator, Language Arts teacher, Mathematics teacher, and a Special Education Specialist where appropriate) will review the documentation within five (5) business days of submission and determine the number of credits to be awarded for transfer.   The school will accept the grades awarded by the home school for any credit transferred.

Regardless of the number of transfer credits awarded, the student must successfully complete the required number of courses at the school in order to earn a diploma.

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PE for the High School Student

State law requires 2 years of PE to be completed before a student can graduate. Students must complete a PE log each month and bring this for a sample. If a situation arises where a student is deemed unable to participate in physical activities for a certain length of time, per a doctor’s note, a student will be able to complete an alternative assignment. This assignment will be given by the parent and ES. Options include: a written paper on physical activities/exercises and the benefits to the body, research completed on various forms of exercise; dance, yoga or a sport of the student’s choice.  This will be approved by the ES at the Learning Period meeting and turned in as a replacement to the SIS Log.   **PE Log available in SIS to assigned ES**

Secondary grades 7-12 must complete a minimum of 400 minutes of PE every ten days.

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Transcripts

Official transcripts should be requested from the registrar’s office or at https://www.excelacademy.education/transcript-requests at least two weeks prior to deadlines.

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Repeated Courses

Courses in which grades of a D/F are earned may be repeated.  The highest grade will be used in the GPA calculation.  UC only allows a course to be repeated one time for grade replacement.

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Work Permits

Excel Academy High School students must receive a work permit prior to working. Students must adhere to the state laws about work hours. Parents/Students obtain this permit through a written request to their assigned ES, parents must allow 4 weeks for permit to be completed.

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Driver’s Education

Students may use instructional funds to pay for the online or class portion only of Driver’s Education and Training at licensed driver’s training programs in the State of California. We do not pay for behind the wheel training. Parents should check with the DMV website for current regulations. There are two options for completing Driver’s Education:

  1. Contract with a local approved driving school vendor.
  2. Contract with an online approved vendor.

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Pink Slip/Certificate of Completion

Students must have a DMV Certificate of Completion to take the driving test and be issued a driving license or learner’s permit to drive. The vendor, not the school, issues the pink slip.

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Credits for Driver’s Education

The Driver’s Education course can be taken up for up to 5 credits as an elective course using the Driver’s Education course outline. Most vendors do not teach a 5 unit course. The ES will use their professional judgment and follow the guidelines set in the course outline in regards to awarding units for Driver’s Education.

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Approval of Driving Schools

School approved driver’s education/ training schools can be located on the vendor list.  If a family wants to use a vendor not currently on the approved vendor list, a Vendor Request form should be submitted to Vendor Relations. Please note the cost of the behind the wheel training is not covered with instructional funds.

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Education Oversight

Excel Academy Policies

Students in Excel Academy are required to complete schoolwork daily. Work samples will be collected by the Educational Specialist each 20-day learning period.  Resources include – but are not limited to – the following: credentialed teacher support; technical support; student support services; non-classroom based learning programs; cooperative school programs and classes; core curriculum; instructional materials; service vendors; lesson and/or course manuals and supplementary course material; special education resources and other necessary resources as required.

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The Education Specialist

Every student enrolled in Excel Academy benefits from the expertise of an Education Specialist (ES). The ES works with his/her assigned family to identify and implement a personalized learning plan for the student. The most important roles of the ES are to work together with the parents to execute an appropriate course of study, help the student meet or exceed grade level requirements, and ultimately, work towards graduation from high school. All Excel Academy educational specialists are highly qualified, experienced, credentialed teachers who are committed to customized learning for each student and family. Our teachers think creatively about education, and they enjoy supporting the educational needs of each student and each family.

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Initial Contact Meeting

Once an ES has been assigned to a family, he/she will reach out within 24-48 hours to schedule an initial contact phone meeting. During this meeting, the ES will go over curriculum options with the parent and student, discuss learning styles, etc. More information about Curriculum options can be found on the Excel Academy website at: <http://excelacademy.education/curriculum/>, or on our approved vendor list at: <http://excelacademy.education/vendors/>. As well, the ES will explain Learning Period (LP) requirements including work samples, reflection papers and attendance logs, school resources, and state and local assessments.

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Learning Period (LP) Meetings

The student(s) and a parent/guardian will meet with the ES once per learning period [or every twenty (20) days] at a mutually agreed upon location, such as a local library, coffee shop, or park. Your ES will communicate what to expect at each individual meeting, but overall, each ES will collect and review work samples, assessing student progress at every meeting. Due to the importance of these meetings, missing two or more consecutive LP meetings is grounds for expulsion from the program. Because each ES tends to have very large rosters, we ask that all students and parents treat his/her time with respect. Please provide your ES with at least 24 hours-notice if you need to reschedule. In the event of an emergency, alert your ES as soon as it is safe to do so. Conversely, we ask that each ES honors their families’ time; Excel requires that all ESs act professionally and knowledgeably, in order to serve their students to the best of their ability.

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Work Samples

Students are required to turn in work samples to their ESs at each Learning Period meeting every twenty school days. These work samples represent a student’s progress over the course of the previous Learning Period. As a result, students are encouraged to show their best and most well-rounded work. Samples can include any evaluative coursework, including worksheets, argumentative essays, research papers, science-project write ups, etc. Students are encouraged to turn in more than one sample for each subject per Learning Period to be discussed with the ES. The ES will file these samples as proof of student attendance and progress. The final grades assigned by the ES at the end of each semester are heavily based on the progress and achievement shown in a student’s work samples.

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Reflection Page/Assessment of Student Work

The Reflection Page is a tool the parent uses to document the acquired learning for the student throughout each learning period (every 20 days). At the learning period meeting, the ES will review this Reflection Page to make sure that adequate amount of work was documented and confirm that ample learning did take place. Progression through the assigned curriculum and the state standards will be verified by the ES as well.

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Attendance Log

Along with the assessment of student work, another responsibility of the Education Specialist is to verify and claim attendance for each Learning Period. Attendance for a learning period can only be claimed once a learning period has ended. After reviewing the Reflection Page and work samples, the ES will verify that ample work and/or standards were completed by the student during the learning period, and the ES and the parent will sign and date the Attendance Grid Log.

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The ES Mentor

Each Education Specialist reports to an assigned Mentor. The Mentors provide their mentees with support and training throughout the school year.  Mentors also provide administrative assistance to the Lead teacher, the vendor department and the Director of the program in order to answer ES inquiries and concerns in a timely manner.

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Parent Newsletter via Mailchimp

One of the main venues of communication to our parents is through our parent newsletter, sent via Mailchimp. Parents often receive time-sensitive communication, information about community events, deadline reminders, and vendor spotlights through the monthly newsletters. Please let your ES know if you are not receiving the monthly parent newsletter. Also, check your SPAM as sometimes Mailchimp sends the newsletters directly to SPAM. For parents who do not wish to receive the newsletter via email, a hard copy will be mailed to the address to which that all other Excel Academy correspondence is sent. Additionally, parent newsletters will be made available online at https://www.excelacademy.education/newsletter/.

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Assessment

Report Cards

All students will receive a report card following the end of each semester with Excel Academy. The grades given on the report card are final, as determined by the Education Specialist and the administration.

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State and Local Assessment

Please remember that results and attendance from all state tests are directly tied to school funding per recent LCFF legislation and are an integral part in maintaining partnerships with our chartering school districts.

Assistance – Please contact Excel Academy’s Assessment Coordinator, Jenny Craig at jcraig@excelacademy.education.

●      CELDT – California English Language Development Test
The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) is given as an initial assessment to newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English, and as an annual assessment to English learners enrolled in transitional kindergarten through grade twelve in California public schools (celdt.org). The CELDT identifies students who are limited English proficient, determines the level of English language proficiency of students who are limited English proficient, and assesses the progress of limited English proficient students in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English (celdt.org).
●    Grades K-12
●      English Language Learners Only
●      Test Administration in October – Dates and Locations TBD (Assessment will be administered by trained proctors.) CAASPP – California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

●      California Standards Tests (CSTs) for Science – Paper Based Test
The California Standards Tests (CSTs) for Science are multiple-choice tests. Items on these tests were developed by California educators and test developers and written specifically to assess students’ achievement of California’s academic content standards for science that were adopted by the SBE in 1998 (caaspp.org).
●      Grades 5, 8 and 10 ONLY
●      CST Science Assessment Testing Coincides with SBAC Testing – Begins April 17th through May 12th

●      Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) – Computer Based Test
With new state standards, students are working harder, thinking more critically, and applying their learning to the real world. To measure these new standards, educators from states using Smarter tests have worked together to develop new, high-quality tests in English and math for grades 3–8 and 11. Using computer adaptive technology, the tests are customized to every student (smarterbalanced.org).

●      Grades 3 – 8 and 11
●      ELA and Math – Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT)
●      ELA and Math – Performance Tasks (PT)
●      SBAC Testing Begins April 17th through May 12th
●      Dates and Locations TBD

–       Registration for the SBAC ELA/MATH/CST will take place online. Information will be emailed to parents in February.
–       At testing sites, cell phones are highly discouraged, and no electronic devices are allowed at the test sites.
–       Parents are notified as soon as logistically possible when students have completed testing. Parents are welcome to stay in a waiting         area, but are not allowed in the testing rooms.
–       Parents cannot be texted when students are waiting in testing rooms due to the prohibited use of technology in those areas. –       Parents are texted upon student entry to check-out room/area.
–       Photo ID will be required at pick-up.
–       Siblings picking up students MUST be old enough to have a photo ID.
–       Students may bring water and lunch to testing.
–       Students will be encouraged to take breaks during testing (i.e. restroom and snack breaks).
–       Parents MUST review this information with their students.

●      Physical Fitness Test – California
The PFT provides information that can be used by (1) students to assess and plan personal fitness programs, (2) teachers to design the curriculum for physical education programs, and (3) parents and guardians to understand their children’s fitness levels.  The program also provides results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students.  By law (Education Code (EC) Section 60800 public schools are required to administer the PFT annually to all students in grades 5, 7 and 9 (cde.ca.gov).

●      Grades 5, 7 and 9
●      Dates Vary in April/May
●      The PFT is administered by Education Specialists. Education Specialists will provide Excel Academy’s Assessment Coordinator with the results for each student tested. A data collection form will be provided prior to testing.
●      Accommodations for Special Education students will be outlined in their IEPs or 504 Plans.
●      If a parent states a student needs additional support, the Education Specialist will need to notify the Assessment Coordinator to                 verify accommodations.

Testing Includes:

1.     Aerobic Capacity – One Mile Run
2.     Abdominal Strength and Endurance – Curl Up
3.     Upper Body Strength and Endurance – Push – Up
4.     Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility – Trunk Lift
5.     Flexibility – Shoulder Stretch
6.     Recording of Height and Weight

●      i-Ready Benchmark Assessments – Computer Based Tests
I-Ready benchmark assessments are adaptive diagnostic tests that will indicate mastery and identify learning gaps in students K-12. This particular assessment will be given in the Fall to provide Education Specialists and parents pertinent knowledge to assist with academic support and guidance, and in the Spring to determine growth and goals prior to state testing.
–       Test Administration – Fall (September/October) and Spring (March)
–       The benchmark assessments will be administered by the Education Specialist or parent within the first 40 days of school.
–       Fall benchmark assessment should be completed no later than October 31st.
–       Students enrolled after the winter break will only take ONE assessment. Students will not be required to take the post assessment.

●      i-Ready is a web-based assessment platform that adapts to individual student performance and helps assess true levels of     ability.
●      Education Specialists must make sure each student on their roster (K-12) have completed the assessments within the first 40                   school days.
●      Parents will have 30 school days to administer the test, and the remaining 10 school days will be for the Education Specialists                   to administer the benchmark assessment to students who have not completed the test.
●      Parent Proctoring Process

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Testing Resources

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

SBAC practice tests are available to the public at http://caaspp.org/practice-and-training/index.html

Practice tests and answer keys are available for grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 in both English language arts and math. The tests are accessed by clicking on the Student Interface Practice and Training Tests tab.  The answer keys are found by clicking on the Test Administrator Resources tab. You do not need to enter a specific password or login. The word “guest” will appear, so simply click login.

http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/

There are four major types of questions that students may see: multiple choice, multiple response, short answer, and performance assessments. Encourage your families to explore and discuss the practice tests with their students.

Additional Resources:
–       Test Practice for Common Core (by the grade level) Barron’s Core Focus Workbook – Language Arts and Math combined
–       Critical Thinking Test Taking Practice for Math (by grade level)
–       Spectrum Test Prep – (Updated and revised for grade levels)

●    California Standards Tests (CSTs) for Science Released test questions can be located at http://www.cde.ca.gov.

●    Physical Fitness Test (PFT)  – California The Healthy Fitness Zone standards are available on the California Department of Education Physical Fitness Test FITNESSGRAM: Healthy Fitness Zone Charts Web page.   http://www.cde.ca.gov/

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SAT/ACT

The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test) and the American College Testing Program (ACT) are standardized tests for college admissions.  Most colleges in America accept the SAT or Subject Tests as a part of their admissions process. The ACT test assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.  Students register for and attend these tests independent of CPCS.  Dates can be found online through collegeboard.org and actstudent.org.  Please save these addresses as you will need to refer to them often in your child’s high school education.

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PSAT/NMSQT

The Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a co-sponsored program by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).  PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test™. It also gives you a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills. Administrators and teachers are cognizant of testing schedules, so they can assist students by providing appropriate information.  Students register for and attend these tests independent of CPCS.  Please visit collegeboard.org for more information.

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English Learners

English Language (EL) students are targeted for CELDT testing when the Home Language Survey indicates that their primary home language is a language other than English.

  • All students are CELDT tested at the beginning of each year.
  • Parents are notified of CELDT results within 30 days from when the state scores and releases results.
  • Excel Academy students are in an English Language Mainstream academic program with an EL Support Course, or support from their Education Specialist. The mainstream curriculum is taught and/or supported by CLAD certified teachers and includes vocabulary, visual, and thematic based support. English Learners are accommodated within this curriculum by providing multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery on all assessments, including writing assignments.

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Criteria for re-designating (RFEP) EL Students

The following criteria are used in tandem to determine re-designation:

  • Early Advanced or Advanced on the CELDT (with no sub score below Intermediate)
  • Parent Approval
  • Teacher or Assessment Coordinator approval based on work product, performance in courses, or other relevant academic criteria

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School Policies, Procedures & Regulations

Academic Integrity Policy

The school considers academic honesty to be one of its highest values. Students are expected to be the sole authors of their work and to exhibit honest behavior and academic integrity.  Use of another person’s work or ideas must be accompanied by specific citations and references. The purpose of this policy is to create and maintain ethics and integrity in all academic endeavors and to provide our students with an understanding of what is and is not acceptable.

Definition of Plagiarism:

  1. The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
  2. Something used and represented in this manner.

Examples of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Quoting someone else’s words, sentences, paragraphs, or an entire paper without acknowledging the source
  • Paraphrasing someone else’s ideas, opinions, or theory without acknowledging the source
  • Imitating someone else’s structure or argument without acknowledging the source
  • Using more of a source than you acknowledged in your citation
  • Copying a fellow student’s work, paper, and/or essays and turning it in as your own
  • Copying another student’s computer file and submitting the work as your own, or allowing such to happen
  • Buying an essay, paper, or written work online without acknowledging the source
  • Using teacher manuals or answer keys

Regardless of the student’s intent, the above acts constitute plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty. In essence, plagiarism is the theft of someone else’s ideas and/or work.  Whether a student copies verbatim or simply rephrases the ideas of another without properly acknowledging the source, it is still plagiarism.  In the preparation of work submitted to meet course requirements, whether a draft or a final version of a paper or project, students must take great care to distinguish their own ideas and language from information derived from other sources.  Sources include published primary and secondary materials, electronic media, and information and opinions gathered directly from other people.

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Process for Addressing Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

First incident:
If a student is suspected of plagiarizing or academic dishonesty:

  1. The teacher of record will confirm the student plagiarized or has been academically dishonest
  2. The teacher of record will consult with school administration to set up a plan to help the student learn about plagiarism and academic dishonesty, and how to avoid it in the future.
  3. The student will be required to redo the assignment by the following learning period meeting and may receive a reduction in the grade of that assignment depending on the age of the student and the severity of the academic dishonesty. Individual school programs may have specific criteria in this regard. If the student does not redo the assignment, the student will receive an F/0.

Second incident:
If a student is suspected of plagiarizing or academic dishonesty for a second time:

  1. The student will receive an F/zero for the assignment.
  2. A conference call with teacher, parent, and school administrator will be scheduled to explain seriousness and to provide additional support.

Third incident:
If a student is suspected of plagiarizing or academic dishonesty for a third time:

  1. The student receives F/zero on the assignment.
  2. The student will received a reduction of one letter grade for the entire course, regardless of which courses the first two offenses occurred.
  3. Conference call with teacher, parent, and school administrator (guidance counselor).
  4. Student may be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable due process provisions in accordance with the relevant charter petition, which is available upon request.

Fourth incident:

  1. The student receives F/zero on the assignment.
  2. Student will receive an F/zero for the entire course, regardless of which courses the first three offenses occurred.
  3. Conference call with teacher, parent, and school administrator (guidance counselor).
  4. Related education records, including disciplinary records, may be provided to colleges or other school districts where the student seeks to enroll or transfer as permitted in accordance with applicable law.
  5. Student may be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable due process provisions in accordance with the relevant charter petition, which is available upon request.

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Special Education Students

If the at-risk student is an identified Special Education student, including a student with an IEP or 504 plan, teacher will contact the Special Education Department and comply with all provisions of applicable law in addressing any student conduct concerns, including plagiarism.

Grievance Procedure:
The following procedure is established to ensure that students’ grievances are addressed fairly by the appropriate persons in a timely manner.  The school prohibits discrimination against students/families on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, or religion.

If a student is accused of plagiarism, cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty and the parent/student disagrees:

  • The student and parent/guardian will address the school administrator in writing with the reason for the grievance, including why they believe the accusation is not accurate/appropriate.
  • The school administrator will investigate and respond with a written determination within ten (10) working days
  • If the concern or grievance is not resolved, the student and parent/guardian may, within ten (10) working days, request a review with the governing board. The board shall investigate and respond to the student and parent/guardian within ten (10) school days after the review.  The decision of the board will be accomplished by the vote of a simple majority and the decision is final.

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Internet/Computer System Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Excel Academy provides technology resources to its students solely for educational purposes.  Through technology, Excel Academy provides access for students and staff to unlimited resources.  Expanding technologies provide tremendous opportunities for enhancing, extending, and rethinking the learning process.  The goal in providing these resources is to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication with the support and supervision of the parent and credentialed teacher.

With this access brings the potential exposure to material that may not hold educational value, or may be harmful or disruptive to the student’s learning experience.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that student Internet access on school owned computers will be appropriate and used only for educational purposes, consistent with the acceptable standards of the school.

All computer equipment, programs, supporting materials, and peripherals of any nature which the student receives from the school are loaned to the student for educational purposes only and belong to the school. As a condition of receiving and using any such equipment, the student and student’s parents acknowledge that there is no right of or expectation of privacy whatsoever related to the student’s use of such equipment. The school retains the right to monitor, at all times, Internet/computer activity accessed by this equipment, review any material stored in files on such equipment, edit or remove any material which the school staff, in its sole discretion, believes violates the above standards, and terminate the Internet/Computer Agreement of any persons violating the conditions set forth in this policy.

Information services such as online educational resources provided by school may occasionally require new registration and account information to continue the service. This will require the School to give out certain portions of student’s personal information to one or more 3rd party vendor(s) required for this requested service, such as logon information, etc. Student and parent’s signatures of this policy and use of said computer equipment or school-provided online resources indicate specific consent to such release of personal information.

Students using the Internet shall be closely supervised by the parent. Students and their parents are ultimately responsible for the materials accessed through the use of student Internet accounts. Parents or guardians will be responsible for the supervision of students using the internet.

The California Computer Crime Bill (1979) added section 502 to the Penal Code making it a felony to intentionally access any computer or system or network for certain purposes, including:

  1. Devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or extort or,
  2. Wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data.
  3. Knowingly accesses and without permission adds, alters, damages, deletes, or destroys any data, computer software, or computer programs which reside or exist internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network.
  4. Knowingly and without permission accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system, or computer network
  5. Knowingly introduces any computer contaminant into any computer, computer system, or computer network.

Anyone committing acts of this kind, or any other actions prohibited by law with school owned computers and/or equipment will face legal action and disciplinary procedures.

It is the intent of this policy to protect students from inappropriate information. However, the staff cannot screen all of the materials available on the Internet. Willful access to inappropriate material in any form by students as well as the importation of any material from “outside sources” on school owned computers and/or equipment is a violation of this policy and may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, the revocation of School-provided computer and/or equipment and/or discipline, up to and including, expulsion of the student. Students, staff and parents hold a joint responsibility to insure that inappropriate material is not displayed or available on any computer.

Parents/guardians will teach the student about Internet safety, including how to protect online privacy and how to avoid online predators using resources such as materials available at: http://www.digitalcitizenship.netExcel Academy has also adopted internet safety policies in accordance with applicable law, including the Children’s Internet Protection Act, which will be provided to parents/guardians.

This policy does not attempt to articulate all required or proscribed behavior by users. Misuse may come in many forms; it is commonly viewed as any transmission(s) sent or received that suggest or indicate pornography, unethical or illegal solicitation, racism, sexism and inappropriate language.

The following characterize, but do not exhaustively list all unacceptable behavior:

  1. Using the school funded Internet/computer system for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes or in support of such activities
  2. Utilizing the school funded Internet/computer system for any illegal activity including violation of copyrights or other contracts relating to licensed uses.
  3. Intentionally disrupting equipment of system performance.
  4. Downgrading the equipment or system performance.
  5. Damaging or misusing any hardware or software.
  6. Utilizing the school’s computing resources for commercial/financial gain or fraud.
  7. Pirating and/or theft of data, equipment, or intellectual property.
  8. Gaining or seeking to gain unauthorized access to resources or entities.
  9. Utilizing the system to encourage the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco or any promotion or attempt to promote any unethical behavior.
  10. Using harassing, abusive or obscene language.
  11. Annoying, harassing or intentionally offending another person.
  12. Introducing computer viruses into the system.
  13. Forging electronic mail messages or using an access owned by, or used by another.
  14. Wasting of resources.
  15. Invading the privacy of others.
  16. Possessing data in any form (including hard copy or disk) which might be considered a violation of these rules.

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Consequences of non-Compliance

As with any other violation of school rules and regulations, consequences of violations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Suspension of school funded Internet access
  2. Revocation of school funded Internet access
  3. Limitations of school funded computer access
  4. Revocation of school funded computer access
  5. Disciplinary processes up to expulsion or involuntary withdrawal
  6. Legal action and prosecution
  7. Financial liability for loss of Internet/computer system

The parent/guardian is responsible to abide by and to ensure the student abides by the provisions and conditions of this policy and that any violations of the above provisions may result in disciplinary action, the revoking of the user account, and appropriate legal action.

The parent/guardian is also responsible to report any misuse of the information system to school administration. All the rules of conduct described in the publication entitled “Internet/Computer Acceptable Use Regulations” apply when on the Internet or using the school-owned computer.

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Civility Policy

School personnel, parents, and students are required to be civil in all of their interpersonal school-related interactions. Civility does not require unqualified agreement or conformity of opinion. An expression of disagreement or a discussion of a controversial viewpoint is not uncivil if such expression or discussion is appropriately and respectfully presented and does not disrupt a school-related activity.

For purposes of this policy, to be civil means to act with self-discipline in a courteous, respectful and orderly way in every interpersonal communication and behavior with the goal of providing a safe and harassment free environment for our students and staff while maintaining individual rights to freedom of expression.

Examples of uncivil conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • using an inappropriately loud voice;
  • using profane, vulgar, or obscene words or gestures;
  • belittling, jeering, or taunting;
  • using personal epithets;
  • using violent or aggressive gestures or body-language;
  • repeatedly and inappropriately interrupting another speaker;
  • repeatedly demanding personal attention at inappropriate times;
  • purposefully and inappropriately invading personal space;
  • purposefully ignoring appropriate communications;
  • wrongfully interfering with another person’s freedom of movement;
  • wrongfully invading another person’s private possessions; or;
  • any other behavior that inappropriately disrupts school-related activities.

In the event that any party is uncivil during a school-related activity, the following steps will occur:

  1. Communicate – The party experiencing the uncivil behavior will communicate that the behavior is not civil and that the uncivil behavior must cease immediately.
  2. End Activity/Meeting – If the uncivil party fails to correct the uncivil behavior as directed, the affected party shall end the activity/meeting.
  3. Referral – The reporting party shall refer the situation to school administration with a written summary of the uncivil behavior and how he/she responded.
  4. Determination – If it is determined that uncivil behavior occurred, proper disciplinary action will be taken, which may include suspension or expulsion.

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Harassment and Cyberbullying

Excel Academy expects all students to use electronic communications in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner in order to ensure that offensive, harassing or other communication jeopardizing the integrity of Excel Academy has not been made available to other students.

In communicating via email or in Live Sessions you are agreeing that you will use the email or chatting properly for school, will communicate with faculty and students appropriately, and will not partake in cyber-bullying or any form of harassment.

Harassment and cyberbullying of/by students or instructors will not be tolerated in an online environment.  Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct based on protected class (e.g., race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation).

Cyber-bullying, sometimes called electronic bullying – is defined as the use of electronic communications (i.e., email, chat rooms, instant messaging, cell phones, threaded discussions, websites, or other electronic communication) to bully others.  Specifically, this can include threats, insults, verbal abuse, racial slurs, or any other hostile communications designed to cause harm to others.

Offensive content includes, but is not limited to, sexual comments or images, racial slurs, gender-specific comments, or any comments that would offend someone on the basis of age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap, disability, or veteran status.

Harassment and cyberbullying are actions that present situations that interfere with school success and/or create a hostile environment.

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Steps for Students to Follow

Students who believe that they are victims of cyber-bullying or harassment should follow the steps below:

  • Do not respond to the person accused of harassment or cyberbullying.
  • Document specific instances of cyber-bullying or harassment (i.e., keep a record of abusive correspondences and save the documents or communications).
  • If the abusive communication is from another student and occurs as part of coursework (i.e., as part of any class activity such as a threaded discussion, Live Session, or group assignment), report the situation to the teacher and send the teacher the documentation (See Appendix for form).
  • If the abusive communication is from another student and occurs in any other school setting (i.e., not as part of a specific class), report the situation to the Guidance Counselor and send the Guidance Counselor the documentation (See Appendix for form).
  • If the abusive communication is from a staff member, report the situation to the School Administrator.
  • If the abusive communication is from the School Administrator, report the situation to the Guidance Counselor, who will report it to the Executive Director.

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Administrative Action Plan

When a student reports an incident of cyberbullying or harassment to a teacher/ES:

  • The teacher will collect and review documentation if the abusive communication occurs as part of coursework.
  • The teacher will discuss the incident with the accused student and decide if the incident warrants a loss of points in the course and/or referral to the School Administrator. This will depend on the severity of the incident and if this is a first time or repeat offense.  Records of the actions taken will be appended to the student’s electronic file.
  • The teacher will warn the student about possible discipline, including suspension or expulsion for repeated offenses.
  • The teacher will arrange a parent conference to discuss the matter.
  • If the student is referred to the School Administrator, the student may be a candidate for expulsion.

When a student reports an incident of cyberbullying or harassment to a Guidance Counselor:

  • The Guidance Counselor will collect and receive documentation if the abusive communication occurs in any other school setting (i.e., not as part of a specific class).
  • The Guidance Counselor will discuss the incident with the accused student and decide if the incident warrants referral to the School Administrator. This will depend on the severity of the incident and if this is a first time or repeat offense.  Records of the actions taken will be appended to the student’s electronic file.
  • The teacher will warn the student about possible discipline, including suspension or expulsion for repeated offenses.
  • The teacher will arrange a parent conference to discuss the matter.
  • If the student is referred to the School Administrator, the student may be a candidate for expulsion.

When a student reports an incident of cyberbullying or harassment by a staff member to the Principal or Executive Director, that person will discuss the incident with the accused and will take necessary actions in accordance with law to address the complaint.

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Disciplinary Action for Students Engaging in Harassment or Cyberbullying

Students who are found engaging in harassing or bullying behavior:

  • May lose points for coursework
  • Will have a parent conference scheduled to discuss the matter
  • Will receive a warning about possible discipline, including suspension or expulsion for a repeated offense
  • Will be candidates for expulsion dependent on the severity or frequency of the offense

Staff Member Responsibilities for the Harassment or Cyber-Bullying Policy:

  • Teachers and/or Guidance Counselors collect and review documentation and discuss the incident(s) with the student
  • Teachers and/or Guidance Counselors record the documentation in the student’s electronic file
  • Teachers and/or Guidance Counselors arrange a parent conference to discuss the matter
  • Teachers and/or Guidance Counselors warn the student about possible expulsion

School Administrator initiates administrative expulsions as described above.

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Substance Abuse

The abuse of controlled substances (e.g., alcohol, illicit drugs) has no place in the school-learning environment.  Students are expected to refrain from behaviors that may negatively impact their academic performance.  Teachers who believe students have engaged in such behaviors will contact the School Administrator. The School Administrator will investigate the situation and if warranted, will report this to the student’s parent/guardian(s). The School Administrator may refer students to counseling, and if warranted, to law enforcement.

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Homeschool Attendance, Student Support, and Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

The school’s goal is for students to be successful and to achieve high academic standards. The purpose of this policy is to outline the school support that will be provided and the steps that will be taken if the parent and student responsibilities are not fulfilled. The parent/guardian is responsible that:

  • the student completes assigned learning and/or standards for each learning period
  • the parent and student attend required school meetings (including but not limited to learning period meetings and special education services)
  • the parent and student abide by all school/Governing Board policies
  • the student complete required school assessments

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Outline of Responsibilities that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal

Attendance

The credentialed teacher of record awards attendance in accordance with applicable law and based on two criteria: 1. The overall amount of learning completed/attained and 2. That some learning occurred on each date of attendance. As indicated in the Governing Board independent study policy, once a student has three missed assignments during a given learning period, the student is no longer in good standing. For purposes of attendance, three assignments is defined as 30% of the assigned learning for the given learning period. The student must complete at least 70% of the learning for that period and must be able to demonstrate that learning to the teacher of record in order to remain in good standing. The credentialed teacher of record uses their professional determination to assign the percent of learning that occurred. Additionally, the student must bring a work sample that aligns to their learning in each of the courses in which the student is enrolled. Additionally, the student and parent/guardian must attend all scheduled learning period meetings. Missing a meeting results in zero attendance being awarded and a second meeting must be scheduled within five days to evaluate if attendance may be claimed.

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Governing Board Policies

In addition to attendance, the parent and student must abide by all board approved policies.  These policies include, but are not limited to:

  • The Academic Integrity Policy
  • The Civility Policy
  • The Acceptable Use Policy

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Additional Parent/Student Responsibilities

The parent/guardian is also responsible that/to:

  • The student completes all mandated school assessments
  • Providing any necessary documentation or information to school in order to record attendance in accordance with applicable law
  • The school receives all required documentation for continued enrollment, such as proof of residency
  • Respond to the school’s communication and if unable to be reached within the first 10 school days, the student will be involuntarily withdrawn.

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Outline of School Support and Process that May Lead to Student Involuntary Withdrawal

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First Progress Improvement Notification

If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined above, the school will send a letter to the parent/guardian informing the family that the student has failed to meet the minimum standards of independent study and/or the Governing Board policies. The letter will include the reason for the notification so the parent and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their independent study responsibilities.

If the reason for the notification is that the student failed to attain 70% of learning completed/attained per the credentialed teacher of record, a follow-up learning period meeting must occur within ten school days. This meeting will take place to ensure the student is back on-track.

If the reason for the notification is that the parent or student did not attend a learning period meeting, a follow-up learning period meeting must occur within five school days.

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Second Progress Improvement Notification

Meeting with School’s Educational Team

If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined above for a second time within the same school year, the school will send a letter to the parent/guardian informing the family that the student has failed to meet the minimum standards of independent study and/or the Governing Board policies. The letter will include the reason for the notification so the parent and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities with the school.

If the reason for the second notification is that the student failed to attain 70% of learning completed/attained per the credentialed teacher of record, a student support meeting will be scheduled with the school’s educational team within five days. The school’s educational team will include the student, parent, teacher, and school designee. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop a plan to support the student’s success. An additional follow-up learning period meeting must occur within ten school days of the student support meeting. This meeting will take place to ensure the student has begun making adequate progress.

If the parent/student do not attend the scheduled student support meeting, the meeting will be held with the teacher and school designee, and the student will receive the third notification from the school. If the reason for the notification is that the parent or student missed a learning period meeting, a follow-up meeting must occur within five school days.

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Third Progress Improvement Notification

If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities mentioned above for a third time within the same school year, an evaluation will be conducted to determine whether it is in the best interests of the pupil to remain in independent study. If the evaluation finds that it is not in the student’s best interest to remain in independent student, the student may be involuntarily withdrawn and the school will send a letter to the parent/guardian informing the family that the student has failed to meet the minimum standards of independent study and/or the Governing Board policies and has been involuntarily withdrawn from the school. This letter will be sent by registered mail and the student’s district of residence will be notified.  A written record of the findings of any evaluation made as a result of missed assignments shall be treated as a mandatory interim pupil record. The record shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the evaluation and, if the student transfers to another California public school, the record shall be forwarded to that school. (51747)

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Special Education Students – PIN Policy

If the at-risk student is an identified Special Education student, including a student with an IEP or 504 plan, the teacher will contact the Special Education Department and comply with all provisions of applicable law in addressing any concerns, including a failure to meet the minimum qualifications of independent study or governing board policies.

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Suspension/Expulsion Procedures

For Excel Academy students within either Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District or Warner Unified School District, please refer to the suspension policy outlined in our charter petition. A copy will be made available upon request. As to students with special education needs, discipline will be taken, where appropriate, in conformance with applicable law.

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Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary School Students Student Privacy and Safety

Excel Academy abides by the student privacy guidelines set forth by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  As a result, the names of Excel Academy students, their images, and their coursework will not be published on the Excel Academy website or in videos without student and parent/guardian consent.

Students also should be aware that instructors and other school staff are required by law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to the California Child Protective Service at http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cfsweb/.  While confidentiality of conversations may be limited due to this requirement, students should understand that their safety is of paramount importance to all school staff members, and students may rely on assistance where warranted.

Student’s safety is of utmost importance. Excel Academy school personnel will immediately notify the School Administrator or designee about any concerns about potential suicides or in the event of violence or threats of violence toward persons or property of students, faculty, staff, or the school.  Then the administrator will inform the student’s parent/guardian and, if needed, request the emergency assistance of the police department.

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Regulations Concerning Access to Student Records & Records Sharing

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older (eligible students) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.  These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Excel Academy receives a request for access.

Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their education records should submit a written request to the Excel Academy Director/Principal, identifying the records they wish to inspect.  Excel Academy officials will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

Parents or eligible students who wish to ask Excel Academy to amend their child’s education record should write Excel Academy Director/Principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If Excel Academy decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, Excel Academy will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  1. The right to provide written consent before Excel Academy discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest must be set forth in Excel Academy’s annual notification for FERPA rights.  A program official typically includes a person employed by Excel Academy as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on Excel Academy’s board.  A school official also may include a volunteer, contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by Excel Academy, performs an institutional service or function for which Excel Academy would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of Excel Academy with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another program official in performing his or her tasks.  A program official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, Excel Academy may disclose education records, without consent, to the officials of another program or school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Excel Academy to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

See the list below of the disclosures that elementary and secondary schools and programs may make without consent.

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, § 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires Excel Academy to record the disclosure.  Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student –

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom Excel Academy has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom Excel Academy has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as the state educational agency (SEA) in the parent or eligible student’s state. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of § 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf, if applicable requirements are met.  (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
  • To state and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a state statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to § 99.38. (§ 99.31(a)(5))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, Excel Academy, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction, if applicable requirements are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(6)
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7)
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena if applicable requirements are met. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10)
  • Information Excel Academy has designated as “directory information” if applicable requirements under § 99.37 are met. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
  • To an agency caseworker or other representative of a state or local child welfare agency or tribal organization who is authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with state or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student in foster care placement. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(L))
  • To the Secretary of Agriculture or authorized representatives of the Food and Nutrition Service for purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, under certain conditions. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(K))

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Anti-Discrimination

Excel Academy is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations.  CPCS does not charge tuition and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability as required by Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Education 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

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McKinney Vento Information

If you are in a situation that qualifies you as homeless based on the McKinney Vento definition below and you are interested in receiving information about resources available in your area please contact the homeless liaison at enroll@excelacademy.education, ATTN Heidi. Definition of homeless: The federal government’s legal definition of homeless based on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is anyone who:

  • Lacks a regular, fixed and adequate nighttime residence (substandard housing, no water or electricity)
  • Is sharing housing due to economic hardship (doubled up/tripled up)
  • Is living in a public place not designated for sleeping (cars, parks, abandoned building, motels, trailer parks and campgrounds)
  • Is an unaccompanied youth
  • Is a child or youth awaiting foster care placement
  • Is a child abandoned in a hospital
  • Is a migrant child who qualifies under any of the above

Homeless students’ rights:

  • Be immediately enrolled in school without a permanent address.
  • Continue in the school that the student attended before becoming homeless.
  • Go to school, no matter where the student lives or how long he/she has lived there
  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of required school records or documents
  • Enroll and attend classes even while the school and parent seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment
  • Receive transportation to his/her school of origin as long as he/she is homeless, or if the student becomes permanently housed, receive transportation until the end of the academic school year
  • Participate in tutoring, school-related activities, and/or receive other support services

Excel Academy will meet the McKinney Vento education rights following our regular enrollment policies. . See more information at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/hs/.

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Contact Information and Communication Policy

Email Accounts

A valid, working email account is preferred for all students and parents. Parents and students must provide contact information, which can include email, phone number, and mailing address.   If a student or guardian’s email address, mail address, IM address, or phone number changes, it must be updated with the Guidance Counselor or Education Specialist (ES) within five (5) business days.

Excel Academy does not supply student email accounts but recommends that students and parents/guardians supply separate addresses for communication.  Students who need a separate email account from their parents/guardians can sign up for a free account with Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or AOL.  Please note, however, that Excel Academy does not have any relationship with these third parties, and it is not responsible for the availability or content of marketing or other materials on the above third parties’ websites.  The providers of the websites may discontinue their free programs at any time at their discretion. All students/parents are expected to meet with their ES each reporting period.

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Tone of Contact

Students and parents/guardians must use school appropriate language in communication with Excel Academy employees and peers.  Students will not partake in cyber-bullying or any form of harassment.  Students should strive to use appropriate grammar and capitalization in their communications.

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Authorized Contacts

At the time of enrollment, a student’s parent/guardian is asked to approve any contacts that have authorization to receive performance information about the student.  Individuals with authorization are responsible for maintaining current contact information with the school.  In accordance with FERPA law, school officials are only authorized to speak to parents/guardians listed at the time of enrollment.

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School Communication Responsibilities

Email or voicemail sent to administrative personnel Monday through Thursday between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm Pacific Time (PT) will be addressed within twenty-four (24) hours of the time it was sent.  Email or voicemail sent between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm PT the day before a weekend or holiday will be addressed on the next business day.  Email or voicemail sent during non-office hours will be addressed within twenty-four (24) hours of the beginning of the following business day.  Instructors who are scheduled to be away during regularly scheduled office hours (for professional meetings or vacation) will post the dates and times of those interruptions at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance and will offer alternative contact information for assistance.  Unanticipated absences due to illness or other emergencies will be reported to the Director who will find suitable alternatives for assistance.

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Parent Advisory Committee

Excel Academy sponsors a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), comprised of parents from the Excel Academy community, which meets regularly as is dictated by CCCS, and serves to address and recommend changes to the Excel Academy Administration regarding specific areas of school operations. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. School budget, including the LCAP
  2. Curriculum/Instruction/Assessment
  3. Fundraising and Grants
  4. School Program Development

The PAC will serve to share information about the school with the parent community, invite feedback and ideas from the parents on the school, and involve students in the school conversation. Dates of future meeting will be posted at least one month in advance. Certificated and classified staff members are welcome and encouraged to attend, if their duties permit. The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) will be chaired by the Excel Academy Director/Principal or their designee.

Excel Academy believes that active parent, student, and employee participation in school operations will help foster the sustainability of our program. The PAC will play an important role in making Excel Academy even more responsive to staff, student, and parent needs, and provide for continual improvement, ensuring that Excel Academy staff practice open and positive communication with families. To that end, we welcome any inquiries into parent participation in the committee.

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